Here are the Study Questions for The Secret Language of Women
Everyone must answer this question:
This book is #20 on a national best seller list for poetry.
Point to specific reasons why you think this book has found such a wide audience.
Part of this question is to get you thinking about why people buy any book, but a poetry book in particular.
Then, answer one question from the list below:
1. For section one—explain “what repeats itself”
2. For section two—explain what “edges blur”
3. Does TM reveal what the secret is? What is it?
4. Find three poems—one from each section of the book—that exemplify TM’s style/voice and explain why you’ve chosen them.
5. TM makes frequent use of the natural world as a metaphor. Find 2-3 examples of this and explain how the metaphor works. That is, what is being compared to what? How are they similar?
6. Richard Hugo says, if you are not risking sentimentality, you’re not in the ballpark.
Using examples from TSLOW, explain the difference between sentimentality and sentiment.
Sentimentality is on one hand a literary device that is used to induce an emotional response disproportionate to the situation, and thus to substitute heightened and generally uncritical feeling for normal ethical and intellectual judgments, and on the other it is a heightened reader response that is willing to invest previously prepared emotions to respond disproportionately to a literary situation. (from wikipedia)
Sentiment: The expression of delicate and sensitive feeling, especially in art and literature.